Renault Arkana: an introduction

When it was launched last year, the all-new Renault Arkana was one of the first models beyond the premium Germans such as the BMW X4 and Audi Q3 Sportback to feature an SUV-coupé body style. So, what’s the Arkana all about?

Sharp, SUV looks

The Arkana, despite its muscular and sporting profile, is actually longer than Renault’s Kadjar SUV. Available in three trim lines — Iconic, S Edition and R.S. Line — all models feature Renault LED Pure Vision lighting and signature C-shaped daytime running lights with automatic activation. While Iconic models sit on a set of 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, moving up the range, the larger 18-inch wheels on S Edition and R.S. Line models give the Arkana an even more powerful stance. Little visual cues such as grey satin skid plates on S Edition models and a Formula One-inspired aerodynamic front blade on R.S. Line cars differentiate the levels.

Yes, the exterior certainly looks good, but the two key areas in which the Arkana really impress are in its interior and its efficient hybrid powertrains.

High-tech interior

Inside, the Arkana is packed full of clever tech features such as a 9.3-inch portrait-aspect infotainment screen on S Edition and R.S. Line models, a 7.0-inch digital display ahead of the driver and class-leading levels of comfort and space. The dimensions have been maximised for increased headroom and legroom and there’s an abundance of space for active families with a boot of up to 513 litres.

Smooth, efficient engines

The Arkana is Renault’s first purpose-built hybrid model and it’s driven by two distinctive styles of hybrid powertrain. The first is found in E-Tech Hybrid 145 models and is derived from Renault’s Formula One experience, mating a 1.6-litre petrol engine to a compact battery pack and two electric motors to deliver a smooth and frugal 145hp with fuel consumption of just 4.9 litres/100km. The design is such that E-Tech Hybrid models can operate on electric-only power at times, making it quieter and more eco-friendly around town.

The other hybrid set-up found in the Arkana is the TCe 140 system combining a 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology to deliver a strong 140hp with excellent fuel consumption. All models feature automatic transmissions for greater refinement and ease of use.

Safe as houses

Since the Renault Laguna became the first car to achieve a five-star rating for occupant protection in Euro NCAP safety tests in 2001, the company has led the way with some of the safest cars around. The Arkana is no different, achieving a five-star rating of its own thanks to the latest suite of driver assistance and protection features.

All models come with an Active Emergency Braking system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist with active steering, the ability to recognise traffic signs and cruise control with a speed limiter. Moving up the range, S Edition models feature Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert for added reassurance and assistance. At the top of the tree, R.S. Line models gain Easy Park Assist as standard meaning that they can park themselves in most situations.

Considering both the hybrid powertrains and elevated levels of tech, the Arkana is priced very keenly relative to its competitors with prices for Iconic TCe 140 models starting from only €30,340. Even splashing out on a top-of-the-line R.S. Line model with its sporty detailing, tons of equipment and E-Tech hybrid powertrain still feels like a bit of a steal with prices starting at €36,540.

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